Last Saturday night finally saw traces of summer wafting through the air, which became the perfect backdrop for the grand opening of the new innovative boutique Borrow A Dress Couture or BADC. Warm lighting welcomed guests into the bright, polished space that held a candy-colored array of couture treasures. The smaller selection made for a thorough perusal, without being overwhelmed by racks and racks of dresses. And the clean, stark white walls served as a smart canvas for the vibrant dresses to stand out against. Standing out seems to be a key element in the philosophy behind BADC. As a pioneer boutique on a stretch of restaurants, salons, and bars, BADC is sure to stand out itself within the neighborhood and quickly make a name as one of the first of its kind.
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The gown rack of Borrow A Dress Couture
The sole purpose behind the new retail space is to offer a current, diverse selection of cotoure cocktail dreses and gowns to be rented at a portion of their retail price for several days at a time. Feel free to read that again. Yes, our prayers have been answered. In a time when department stores have been cracking down on the widespread, albeit tacky, practice of 'wardrobing'—where women buy dresses and keep the tags on to return the day after the event—the stylish Chicago woman needed more fab options for occasions such as formals, weddings, parties, and other fancy nights out. Owners of the boutique Bree Lara and Teonna Ingram used this understanding, coupled with their love of fashion, as a vehicle to start the business. Having experience working in Chicago retail and for various fashion and hair shows, the two friends decided that their love of dressing up for stylish events was costing a pretty penny. They loved donning of-the-moment looks, but found themselves swapping outfits between each other and various friends in order to avoid wearing the same outfits all the time, and still be able to afford the trends. Thus, the idea for BADC was born.
Owners Bree (left) and Teonna (right) with model in a Oui Design cocktail dress.
Retail price of dress: $498 Rental Price: $124
The friends turned business partners began to purchase directly from some of their favorite designers including Marchesa, Vera Wang, Herve leger, Bagdley Mischka, and Alexander McQueen. They then set up the BADC space so that it resembled a sort of fantasy fitting room, sparsely outfitted but still with plenty of options in both long and short styles. They receive new shipments every other week and depending on the size, either incorproate the new wares entirely, or rotate the inventory around. As testament to their very wise belief that everyone should be able to rock couture regardless of size, the dresses run from size 0-18 and they also carry maternity. The retail prices of their handpicked selection ranges from $100 to $4000 while the rental fee for three days (it can be slightly longer if you notify them at the time of rental) ranges from $35 to $400. And while we're still trying to pinch ourselves into believing this is real, owner Dee said explained the concept behind the shop is simple: "Everyone has occasions where they want to stand out. Now you can do it whenever you want, and you don't even have to keep the dress!"
Amen to that.
A guest of the party tries on a fun Oui Design cocktail dress
A Creative Imports gown that retails for $398,
Rental Price: $99
A Bagdley and Mischka dress that retails for
$530, Rental Price: $120
Owner Teonna with model in a Marchesa dress that retails for $695,
Rental Price: $135
A Herve Leger that retails for $1350, rental price: $300
Borrow A Dress Couture
3221 N. Sheffield
Chicago, IL 60657
773 904 8735
Photo Source: Second City Style